Analysis: Was an ejection warranted? A look at Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese's ejection vs. the Liberty

Chicago Sky star rookie Angel Reese had another standout game on Tuesday.

She recorded her second-career double-double with a statline of 13 points, 10 rebounds and a block in the Sky's 88-75 loss to the New York Liberty.

However, with 2:31 remaining, Reese was given two technical fouls and was ejected from the game by referee Charles Watson. After the post game press conference and a following pool report from the officials, we can take a deeper look: Was an ejection really warranted?

What led to the ejection

In the waning minutes of the Sky's loss, Reese was called for a foul after a play under the basket with the Liberty's Jonquel Jones.

After that, Reese was called for her first technical foul.

"After being called for hitting Jonquel Jones across the arm during a rebound, Angel Reese disrespectfully addresses the calling official," lead official Maj Forsberg told a pool reporter after the game.

Shortly after, Reese was called for a second foul for waving off the official. That led to the second technical foul.

"After being called for the technical foul, Angel Reese then waives off the calling official in resentment to the call and is assessed a second technical foul," Forsberg told a pool reporter. "Since these were two separate acts, the combination of two technicals resulted in Angel Reese being ejected from the game."

Usually, if there's an ejection like this late in a professional basketball game, a warning of some sort precedes it.

There had to have been some sort of warning too, right?

"There have been no prior warnings in the game," Forsberg said. 

Following the ejection, Reese left the court and the Sky coaching staff was looking for an explanation. The officials did not give the Sky one.

"I tried to get an explanation. I did not," Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon said. "I don't know to this moment what has happened."

Was the ejection warranted?

Watching the play back, there wasn't much to go on. In this case, using another example of an ejection is Alyssa Thomas' ejection after her Flagrant 2 foul on Reese during the Sun's win over the Sky on May 25.

Thomas' foul harangued Reese across the neck and face, and referees reviewed the foul and deemed it a Flagrant 2. That's an immediate ejection.

Comparing that to Reese's actions Tuesday where Reese just waved off the official, and it's easy to say it was a quick ejection to give.

However, the part that makes the ejection unwarranted is the acknowledgment there were no prior warnings issued in the game.

If referees are in the middle of a chippy game, they'll give out a warning which gives the understanding that technical fouls are coming next.

Reese was far from the only player to openly disagree with a referee's call. Players from both teams were arguing and disagreeing with foul calls for most of the game. Whatever Reese said first may have warranted a technical, but waving off an official, in the final two minutes of a game which was still in reach for the Sky, usually does not warrant a technical foul. It doesn't matter what level of basketball is being played.

It's not like Reese is a repeat offender, either. She was never ejected from a game in college.

In the 12+ hours since the end of the game, the league has taken a look too. According to the WNBA, the league has rescinded the second technical foul assessed to Reese in Tuesday night's game.

That's not an apology or anything by the league. It's the league acknowledging the second technical wasn't much of a technical. 

Last night, the Sky didn't blame Reese. The veterans after the game did say that was a moment where the Sky can go back and look at how to better position themselves at the end of a game.

Reese's actions did not warrant an ejection, but the best way to avoid a bad call is to not be in a position to earn one. One way is by understanding the scouting report, and that goes for both the opposing team and the referees.

"When you are working with a young group, we always talk about the process of winning," Sky guard Marina Mabrey said. "How composed were we? What did we do down the stretch to execute offensively? What did we do to go back and get back defensively to get stops? You'll go back and take a look at these. You continue to grow, but with a young group we have to continue to work on these things."

WNBA league policy states players are fined $200 for each technical foul, meaning Reese incurred a $400 fine for Tuesday's game. With one of the technicals rescinded, that fine is dropped to $200. Luckily for Reese, someone is picking up the tab.

"Ref that threw out @Reese10Angel is weak btw," Bulls guard Lonzo Ball said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "You know who you are (Keep ya money Angel I got you)."


Sky's fourth-quarter meltdown vs. Liberty mars telling response to tumultuous weekend

Angel Reese got ejected and the Sky went out with a whimper in a 88-75 loss to the Liberty in a defeat that took away from a respectable response.